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Festuca idahoensis Elmer
Idaho Fescue, Bunchgrass Fescue, Blue Bunchgrass
Poaceae (Grass Family)
USDA Symbol: FEID
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Bunchgrass Fescue or Idaho Fescue is a modest-sized, cool-season bunchgrass with very narrow, leaves, often of a striking blue- to gray-green color. Grows in large tufts with flowers in narrow clusters on stiff stalks, flower stalks twice the height of the leaves.
In spite of its rough leaves, Idaho Fescue is still an important native forage grass.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , NM , NV , OR , SD , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC
Native Distribution: B.C. to Alt., s. in mts. to c. CA & CO
Native Habitat: Rocky slopes & dry openings in woods below 5000 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Deep, fertile to thin, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: This grass is drought tolerant and excellent for erosion control. Seedlings are only weakly competitive but once mature become strongly competitive.
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
Sonora Skipper |
Learn more at BAMONA
PropagationDescription: Propagate by seed, though seeds are not highly germinable.
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Festuca idahoensis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Festuca idahoensis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Festuca idahoensis
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-01-25
Research By: TWC Staff